I have been passing the famous Ang Ku Kueh 紅龜粿 store at Everton Park countless times in the past few months on my way to the Singapore General Hospital for therapy.
Ang Ku Kueh is the Hokkien name for a steamed glutinous rice flour cake stuffed with a sweet filling. “Ang” means “red”, while “Ku” refers to “tortoise” and “Kueh” means “cake”. The name is derived from the traditional method of making red tortoise shell-shaped cakes as a symbol of longevity and good fortune. They were commonly used as gifts for a baby’s first month celebration, weddings or other festive celebrations.
Auspicious words are usually carved into Ang Ku Kueh moulds so that they are imprinted on top of the kueh. The words on these kuehs read “吉祥 Ji Xiang” which means “lucky / future success”. The kuehs are brushed with oil after steaming for an attractive sheen.Ang Ku Kueh 紅龜粿 From top: Peanut, Savoury Green Bean & Yam (S$0.60 – S$0.80 each)
Ang Ku Kuehs are now eaten as a breakfast item or snack and are available in a wide variety of flavours and colours. I love Ang Ku Kueh stuffed with ground peanuts. The soft, sticky and slightly chewy skin of the kueh yields to a sweet, fragrant and slightly crunchy peanut paste. It was like eating a red, slightly oilier Japanese mochi (glutinous rice ball) stuffed with a slightly caramelized Peter Pan Crunchy Peanut Butter, albeit with alot less bite because the peanuts in the paste here are ground pretty finely. The Red Peanut Ang Ku Kueh here is a Must-Try!
Another traditional flavour is Savoury Green Bean, the only flavour that has a touch of saltiness to the sweetness of the green bean. Eating this Ang Ku Kueh was like eating a slightly less oily and salty version of a Cantonese-style glutinous rice dumpling, albeit without the salted egg yolks, chestnuts, stewed Chinese mushrooms and pork. The slightly crumbly green bean paste had the right balance of sweet and salty (like how salted caramel is both sweet and savoury) without being overwhelming. This is also a Must-Try!
The purple Ang Ku Kueh was stuffed with a sweetened yam paste that reminded me of the Teochew dessert, Orh Nee, except without the flavour of shallot oil. Though I like yam, I didn’t like this kueh because it was just a little too sweet for my preference.
Ji Xiang Confectionery Block 1 Everton Park, #01-33 (near Cantonment Road) Singapore 081001 Tel: +65 6223-1631 Operating Hours: Mondays to Saturdays: 8 am to 5 pm Sundays & Public Holidays: Closed